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Thread: My Second Trip This Fall ( not dial-up friendy )

  1. #1
    ChiTown
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    Talking My Second Trip This Fall ( not dial-up friendy )

    About 3 weeks ago an opportunity opened up for me to ride my bike to Orlando for a show I was doing, with time after the gig to wander.
    Even though I had just returned home from my trip out west, I was quite excited to be able to get another ride in this year.

    I flew home on Tuesday night from another tour, packed my bike, caught some sleep and set out early Wednesday for Florida.


    According to Mr. Garmin it was 1164 miles to Orlando via Interstate, and I had a day and a half to get there. No problem.


    I won't say just how fast I was going, wasn't looking, really :roll: but my fuel light would come on every 130 miles or so.
    Fourteen hours and 804 miles later I was in Macon, GA.


    The next day I finished the ride and arrived at the JW Marriot/Ritz Carleton resort with 7 hours to spare.
    Here a few pics of the show I was doing, since I had to stare at for 6 days in the middle of my trip....dam pesky work, getting in the way of riding..........





    So I had a week of 15 hour workdays and was ready to get moving south again.
    The day before our load-out was happening I found out that NASA was launching a rocket Wednesday night at 8:30. It was a rocket called STEREO, containing a pair of satellites that are doing 3D imaging of the sun to help warn us when there's solar activity that can harm electronics.

    Show was over at Noon, hmmmmmm I could be in Cape canaveral in less than 2 hours.......yes! I've never witnessed a launch and was very excited for the opportunity.
    So I pushed the crew hard that day, probly didn't make any new friends , but we were out of there at 4:30.
    My bike was right in front already packed from the night before, waiting to go.




    I ended up finding a great camp-spot right in Cape Canaveral in Jetty Park. Perfect. I set up camp, and walked over to the beach to watch with a small crowd of maybe 100 people.



    The launch was amazing needless to say, something everyone should watch in a lifetime.



    GO GO GO !!!!!!! Proud to be an American! WOO HOO!



    The next morning I finally was heading south again, stopped at Ft. Myers BMW to pick up a turn signal stalk to replace a broken one. After that I continued south finally getting onto US 1 and into the Keys.






    I ended up at a KOA campground ($61, OUCH! ) for the night. The guy in the office wouldn't let me pick my spot, " you'll camp where we assign" in a half full campground. Kind of annoying, but it was sunset and I wasn't going keep searching for a campground at this time.

    Well at least the best sunset pics of my trip came from the most expensive campground ever.


  2. #2
    ChiTown
    Guest
    I had been lucky enough to get a 1 night reservation for a campsite at Bahai Honda State Park.



    I had campsite #70 in the Sandspur campground.
    I guess this campground had been closed for some time, allowing it to recover from the hurricanes last year. There was still plenty of evidence all around of the destruction from last year's storms. Stripped vegetation and such.
    It was still very beautiful, and a very cool campsite.



    I ate well that night, pork chops, wild rice and corn on the cob.







    The thing these pictures don't communicate well is how windy it was. There was a big front moving through, and it was windy as hell, gusts up 40mph the Rangers had told me upon checking in.
    Shortly before this sunrise shot, when it was still dark, there was a intense lighting storm all around, but no rain. yet


    After this picture, I went back to sleep, to be awakened to the most intense rain storm I've spent in a tent to date. Lasted about 2 hours, and my North Face tent held up just fine, with only a few drops coming through. I was dry.
    Since the campground was sold-out I had to move the next day. I ended up on Big Pine Key, real close to where I had been the night before.

    This is a very good place to camp. Nice camp-store, clean facilities, and very, very nice people. Only $36/night. cheap by KOA standards.
    I loved my new campsite. My tent was feet from the water, I could fish and snorkel right from my site. Plus I didn't have to leave until I wished.


  3. #3
    ChiTown
    Guest
    This little key deer just loved the R and couldn't help but come get a closer look.



    These guys were around at night.
    ]\

    So I did do some fishing, using my Ultra-light fishing pole's with 6 pound line. A few local fisherman had kinda laughed at the strength line I had on when I was buying leaders and tackle.
    When this thing took my line and just took off, it was crazy. I had no idea what I had caught, I just new that it took 3/4 of my line off the reel. When I finally got him in, I wasn't sure what to do, but struggled with it ti get the hook out quick so I could get a pic and throw it back. These shovel-head sharks are STRONG!


    I had no idea of how to clean it, not too many sharks in Wisconsin, so I threw it back.



    All of the fishing I did was right here, wading in the water casting in the channels. I didn't catch anything to eat, and ended up just catching a few small barracuda's while wading far from the beach. Still was pretty cool.

    I ended up buying this folding chair because I wanted to be comfy. Since it was too big for my to carry I marked it the "motorcycle chair" and left it with the campground, so if you ever go here. ask for the chair and relax!








    So after 3 days here on Big Pine, I had to go. It was getting hotter, and I was needing to ride, and couldn't sit still any longer. I packed up and headed back north to some nice cool weather and twisty roads. Little did I know.........
    I ended up in Orange City Fl ,just outside of Daytona Beach, at a KOA.
    First place I could have a fire, and I found this guy who had some for sale, after going down a dirt road for a few miles following "firewood" sign's.


    The fire burned bright that night, and there was a street-type light about 50 yards behind my site. Maybe too much Johnny, but I ended up with these..... The Bronze BMW.


    There's an Alien behind it I swear!


    By now my bike is overdue for it's 12,000 mile service, and the tires are looking pretty square. Hmmmmmm. Ft. Myers BMW couldn't fit me in at a good time for me, and Orlando didn't have the tires in stock.
    Well, I have an Aunt around Charlotte. So I get out the Anonymous book, and call Charlotte BMW. Yes they have Pilot Road's for my bike, yes they can fit me in for service, can I be drop it off tomorrow? YES. Called my Aunt, and am on my way to Rock Hill, SC. Woo Hoo !
    Last edited by ChiTown; 11-09-2006 at 02:36 AM.

  4. #4
    ChiTown
    Guest
    Jacksonville?
    [IMG]http://img179.imageshack.us/

    Georga? on I-95
    img179/3940/dscn1056ob2.jpg[/IMG]

    As soon as I crossed into South Carolina, I jumped off the highway onto SR 321. This nice 2 lane road would take all the way to Rock Hill, almost.







    I dropped my bike off here for it's service and some new tires.





    I also swapped out the cut out for the full size left side inner case on my bike. I've been trying to do this for a little while now, but Chicago BMW never called me on the one that ordered from them.
    Charlotte BMW is awesome! They treated me great, and were very professional. A+ for them, highly recommended. Go see 'em !!
    While my bike was there I visited with my family, seeing a cousin that I hadn't visited in 20 years. Cool and strange.
    In this down time I also watched the weather channel quite a bit.
    Since I was here, I figure I might as well ride the Blue Ridge Parkway next. All I kept seeing on TWC is that a huge cold front is coming and It's going to be very cold in the mountains. Low's in the 10's, high's in the 30's. No way around it now, I'm riding in the cold.

    This prompted me to re-evaluate my gear and capabilities to ride and camp in these kind of temps. I knew I would have to ride in some cold to get home but this.......
    It was pretty clear that I was not set up for 10??, and I needed to do something about it.
    There just happened to be an REI close by, and Charlotte BMW had a nice selection of Gerbing's.
    I was going to be OK, my bank account wouldn't be but I'll deal with that later.
    I picked up a mid-weight fleece bag liner that added 12?? of warmth to my 20?? sleeping bag. Worked great, was never cold in my bag. Even an 15??
    I also bought a new dry-bag to replace the Helen2Wheels bag I have that has shredded and ripped, no longer being water proof, and a set of double walled capeline underwear pants, to go over my existing one's, some packs of toe warmers, and some thick socks.


    I go the next morning and find the perfect fit in a Gerbings, and install a thermostat on my bike. The riding I did would no have been possible without the Gerbing's IMO.
    The other thing I picked up that made the ride to come comfortable was the gloves.
    I bought some Rev'It Ultra Gloves. PCM technology really works.
    These gloves are amazing. Warm, not bulky, and very comfy.

  5. #5
    ChiTown
    Guest
    OK, sorry for the gear rant, on with the trip.
    So here I am ready to go, tuned up, fresh tires, and days to ride the BRP with no rain in sight.
    The Parts Manager, John gave me a route to get me to the BRP. I was glad I followed his direction's.



    Great roads with not another car in sight for 30 minutes




    Ah, finally!




    I rode the Parkway getting off it to go to Boone, NC to camp.
    So I get to the campground my GPS had taken my to.
    Closed for season.
    crap, it's getting dark , and it's about 20?? now.
    Go to second campground.
    Closed.
    crap. 12 miles into Boone, it was dark now, and I had to stop and change my face shield to the clear one.
    Cold.
    I ended up in a hotel that night, just as well when I see the temp at 7am.




    BRP


    Last edited by ChiTown; 11-13-2006 at 09:42 PM.

  6. #6
    ChiTown
    Guest










    Explored a few fire roads




    Look out! curves in the middle of other curves!





    So after 2 days of riding the BRP, having the entire road to myself most of the time I made it into Washington DC to celebrate my birthday with some friends.
    I had to drive the Mall since I was here.






    After leaving DC. I went to Shenandoah National Park.



    There were deer everywhere looking at me funny with this hat on.

  7. #7
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Portland Oregon
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    1,907

    Delightful and inspirational

    Quote Originally Posted by John Brase
    Superb. Just superb.

    John
    Thanks for sharing

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